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Paris Aug 15 with 2 teen boys - looking for Apt rental ideas.

Paris Aug 15 with 2 teen boys - looking for Apt rental ideas.

Old Dec 5th, 2014, 01:07 PM
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How would the average person know, especially if written in French or Spanish legalese...? >>

exactly my point manouche.
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Old Dec 7th, 2014, 02:46 PM
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I happen to know of one agency that owns all the apartments in the building,, and the building too. There are only 5 apartments in that building.. so easy enough for this agency, however they are all smaller apartments.. one bedrooms or studios.. likely a bit tight for a family since I know at that age my boys would not happily share a pull out couch.

Frankly its easier to just rent a hotel room.. or two in this case.. and get ac.. a must in summer as far as I am concerned after many summers in Paris. Yes, one visit I took in August I did not need the ac,, but every other trip I have been grateful for it. Keep in mind if you are a light sleeper, sleeping with windows open for air can be noisey.. some folks are used to city noise.. I am not.

As for what to do.. all my kids got trips to Europe between ages of 11 and 13, all were one on one trips with one parent ( this is how we chose to do it for a variety of reasons,one being its impossible to find hotel rooms for five people,, well at least in our budget range) and all of my kids were expected to do some research and submit a list of their three must sees for each city. None of my kids are very scholarly ,, and in fact one has a severe learning disability.. but somehow they all managed fine .. kids these days are perfectly capable of googling " things to do in ---- " and reading up about a place.
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Old Dec 8th, 2014, 03:57 PM
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>

macdogmom - The point is that there are certain cities in the World where it is illegal to rent out an apartment for less than 30 days. And it doesn't matter if the rental is advertised on AirBnb, VRBO or TA. Paris, Barcelona, Amsterdam, New York City, New Orleans to name a few.

The second point is that because of the advent of the likes of AirBnb these illegal rentals have become very high profile in these cities. AirBnb started out as a company matching tourists with an owner and the tourist would rent a room in their apt or house. Then ABB realized they can make a LOT more money by listing whole apartments and houses for rent. In many places in the World it is fine for an owner to do this. Including my home city.

BUT, there are many places where it is a huge risk. Many of these cities have started cracking down. So an apt you see listed and pay a deposit to now may no longer be available by the time you get there. The most likely scenario is the neighbors report it to the bldg. Or it could be a renter doing it so the neighbors report it to the legal owner. They report it because they are tired of their bldg turned into a Hotel with strangers coming and going.

In big apartment bldgs there is another layer to be aware of. Most bldgs in the cities that ban short term rentals just don't allow it at all. It's in the HOA or Co-op Rules! So you can rent from someone who might say to you "if anyone asks, tell them your my cousin."

What you do is ultimately up to you. I just know I wouldn't want to spend my family vacation worried about whether the neighbors have already complained enough and the bldg or City decides to take action while I was staying there.
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Old Dec 9th, 2014, 12:37 AM
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once again, the irony of macdogmom's original post is completely lost.
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Old Dec 10th, 2014, 08:35 AM
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I assume you mean the "lecturing" part, annhig. I posted an inquiry about planes fares and got a lecture about flying business class (they were for a business trip) a few weeks ago. Feel like I need to tiptoe through any info or opinions I have. i have gotten so much good information through the years, but use Chowhood boards a lot more these days. Guess I'm eating more than sightseeing these days

Anyway, to the OP good luck and have a great trip. I have been traveling with my family to Europe for many years and having an apartment is a wonderful way to visit a city or area.
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Old Dec 10th, 2014, 05:19 PM
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I think YOU miss the point annhig. However difficult it might be to determine if a rental is legal or not is not the issue. The issue is whether or not you are prepared to be a party to an illegal transaction.

As manouche so aptly puts it, "The client who rents an apartment is an accessory to the fact, but as of this date, the renter is held blameless, like a prostitute's clients are." That doesn't make the 'client' any less immoral though does it.

Barcelona requires the property owner to have a license. Asking to know their license number and then checking that license with the Barcelona authorities may be a hassle but it is in fact doable. What should annoy the consumer, is that the third party sites do NOT do this and save you having to do it yourself to insure it is a legal rental.

Again, if the consumer didn't use the third party sites that KNOWINGLY accept illegal rental listings, the issue would not be as predominant as it now is.

What reason can anyone possibly have annhig for not wanting to know that a rental is legal? Please tell me. What reason can someone have for choosing to do business with a company that KNOWINGLY accepts illegal rentals? Please tell me.

Answer the real questions and stop making up excuses.
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Old Dec 10th, 2014, 06:45 PM
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Anne, this reminds me of the Monty Python skit. The one where you can engage, for a cost, someone to have an argument with you.

Or:

"You always want to have the last word."

"No I don't."
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Old Dec 11th, 2014, 02:44 AM
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What reason can anyone possibly have annhig for not wanting to know that a rental is legal? Please tell me. What reason can someone have for choosing to do business with a company that KNOWINGLY accepts illegal rentals? Please tell me.

Answer the real questions and stop making up excuses.>>

I'm not making any excuses, SJ, and really don't have to indulge you in your obsessive compulsive desire to dominate every thread you join with your humourless hectoring of other posters. where you get the idea from that you have the right to determine what the REAL question is, on this or any other thread, I really don't know.

However, at the risk of being accused of stating the bleeding obvious, I will supply an answer to the question you pose, and it's this: they don't care.

The point that I am fully entitled to make was a different one [not that you would be able to appreciate that subtlety of course] which is that it is very difficult for the average renter, even if they are aware of the problem of illegal lettings, to find out if the let is legal or not. And of course the vast majority of renters of apartments are blissfully unaware of the potential problems and manage to have a perfectly satisfactory experience untroubled by worries about what the Commune of Paris or any other local authority might be going to do about illegal lettings.

Macdogmum, it was this comment of yours that I was responding to:

There is a current trip report that is very interesting and full of the poster's great experiences on Airbnb. It's a similar service to VRBO. Is VRBO now a forbidden resource?>>

I assumed that it was tongue in cheek - I apologise if I was wrong.
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Old Dec 11th, 2014, 02:46 AM
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Anne, this reminds me of the Monty Python skit. The one where you can engage, for a cost, someone to have an argument with you.>>

Peter - isn't this the beauty of fodors, that you can have an absolutely fruitless argument with anyone, anytime, entirely for free?
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Old Dec 11th, 2014, 07:12 AM
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Annhig, yes my comment about VRBO was tongue in cheek with some exasperation thrown in. Love these message boards for lots of reasons, but some posters seem to have way too much time on their hands and some pretty big axes to grind.
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Old Dec 11th, 2014, 07:20 AM
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Thank you annhig for an honest answer.

"I will supply an answer to the question you pose, and it's this: they don't care."

We are entirely in agreement on that. They don't care is the truth and the extension of that is that they don't care about anyone other than themselves.

As for, " The point that I am fully entitled to make was a different one [not that you would be able to appreciate that subtlety of course] which is that it is very difficult for the average renter, even if they are aware of the problem of illegal lettings, to find out if the let is legal or not.", there is hardly anything subtle about your point there. (I have to wonder about your idea of subtle)

Yes it is a different point but when you raise it in response to my comments about illegal rentals, where is it's relevance? As you raised it, you are inferring that if it is difficult for someone to determine whether a rental is legal or not, that somehow means they can ignore finding out. That it being difficult absolves them from any 'duty of care' (look it up)legally or morally.

Anyone who has reads this thread or any other where the issue of illegal rentals is pointed out has NO excuse of being 'blissfully unaware' any longer. Once they know, they must then decide if they 'don't care' how it might impact others or whether they do care about others and choose to look for legal rentals regardless of how difficult that might be or NOT.

What people really don't like is having the issue pointed out to them and then having to accept that they don't care. That's what gets people annoyed if we are going to give the honest answer annhig.
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Old Dec 11th, 2014, 07:43 AM
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>

strangely enough as a lawyer I do know what a duty of care is and though its categories are never closed [Donoghue v Stevenson] I think that it's a bit of a stretch trying to apply them to the uncaring renter and an illegal let.

now nuisance might be a cause of action worth pursuing, but against the agency, not the renter, as you would have little chance of being able to proceed against them.

if you can't see the relevance of the points that i have made above, then really sj, I can't help you.
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Old Dec 12th, 2014, 08:36 AM
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I wrote 'legally or morally' annhig because I realize it would be a 'stretch' to apply it legally to the renter but it is not a stretch to apply it morally.

If duty of care means requiring adherence to a standard of reasonable care while performing any acts that could foreseeably harm others, then it seems clear to me that morally someone who rents from an agency that they KNOW accepts illegal rentals, then they are knowingly saying they do not care about performing an act that could forseeably harm others. That to me means they are not performing a 'duty of care' morally. Agree or disagree annhig?

Sometimes the law does not result in 'fairness' or in what is 'right'. This is such a case where legally you could not take the renter to court on 'duty of care' but morally it is quite clear. The whole issue is based on KNOWING the agency accepts illegal rentals and choosing to deal with them anyway.

Using Manouche's example of prostitution, in many places it is not illegal to pay a prostitute, only to sell your body. The client breaks no laws but no one can say the client is not acting immorally in supporting prostitution. An act that 'harms others'.

I can see the relevance of your points annhig but ONLY in the terms you wish to define them by, the law. The law is often an ass annhig.
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Old Dec 12th, 2014, 09:07 AM
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I can see the relevance of your points annhig but ONLY in the terms you wish to define them by, the law. The law is often an ass annhig.>>

and not just the law, sj.

you keep banging on about people who know that the apartment they are renting is being let out illegally but I suspect that that is a small minority; the vast majority have never thought about it.

Yes, I do choose to argue the point from a legal perspective because it is a more reliable point of reference - your morals and someone else's may be completely different.
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Old Dec 12th, 2014, 09:55 AM
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I'll chime in again - try and hold the applause, please...

I agree that the vast majority of people who want to rent apartments in Paris or anywhere else have just two things on their minds: budget and convenience. Cute furnishings etc are just gravy. It's the bottom line that counts, and it counts for a lot. An individual's personal ethics apparently evaporate into thin air when it comes to his god-given right to a vacation - especially when it involves spending big bucks and leaving the country. I have never understood the mentality of "I certainly wouldn't do or allow this in my hometown, but I'll do anything I want to on my vacation, and god help anyone who tries to stop me."

I also agree that the fact that short-term rentals in Paris and many other cities is illegal and that enforcement is underway has not been publicized well enough - especially on travel sites that also offer rental services, like Trip Advisor. There are regular posters on travel sites who shill for friends or their own properties. Shameless, not supposed to happen, but it does. On all the travel forums, anytime someone asks about enforcement, or the legality of short-term rentals in Paris, you can count on several people rushing in with comments to the contrary, providing helpful links to agencies and apartments, raving about their latest stay in their favorite apartment. Why is this OK, when presenting the facts is not? Just because someone hasn't personally experienced a problem with a rental, or doesn't know anyone who has, doesn't make this less valid. Even Doubting Thomas got a heads-up, at the end of that story...

There is a real need to show the other side of the coin - the fact that it is not OK to rent illegally, and also that not everyone needs to rent an apartment to have a satisfying vacation. The main reasons given for renting are "space and saving money on meals". Don't kid yourself - there is just an illusion of space in most apartments, and most people snack on junk food instead of cooking meals. Legally, a "35m2 apartment" may (and usually does) include every centimeter of closet space, unusable space under the eaves, stairs, sleeping lofts, bathroom, and hallway space - the actual usable space is often significantly less than what's stated. Kitchens are often basically a hotplate and a coffee machine, with a dorm-sized fridge. This is an urban myth that needs to be taken down several notches - especially for people looking at budget apartments.

I think that giving people a reality check - in the comfort zone, where it counts - would probably count for more than any debate on personal ethics.
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Old Dec 12th, 2014, 10:27 AM
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Another reality check: the OP has not returned to this thread, so probably a lot of people should save their breath for someone who is interested in the answer.
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Old Dec 12th, 2014, 07:28 PM
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Kerouac - I'm still here but quite amused at where my post has gone! If renting apartments is illegal, so be it. We'll find a small hotel or B&B that is legal. I'm not really bothered by the back and forth squabbles.

Thanks!
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Old Dec 13th, 2014, 01:35 AM
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Weespxx - renting apartments is NOT illegal, and the likelihood that you would run into problems is very small. there are some people here with too much time on their hands.
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Old Dec 13th, 2014, 07:44 AM
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"you keep banging on about people who know that the apartment they are renting is being let out illegally but I suspect that that is a small minority; the vast majority have never thought about it.

Yes, I do choose to argue the point from a legal perspective because it is a more reliable point of reference - your morals and someone else's may be completely different."

Oh come on annhig. Now you are getting ridiculous. Where did I say anything about those who do not know about illegal rentals? My whole point is about those who do KNOW. Anyone who reads this thread now KNOWS including you. I agree the majority do not know and that is why as manouche indicates, travel forums like this one are the place to inform and educate our fellow travellers on the subject.

Are you suggesting that we should leave them in the dark and that if we do they can then merrily carry on renting illegal rentals? I sure hope not. But when you write our 'morals may be completely different', I have to wonder if you are trying to suggest that renting an illegal rental can somehow be morally OK.

People do have differing morals but right and wrong in this instance are pretty clear cut I'd say. Other people are adversely impacted by illegal rentals. Under what circumstances can you say that that is morally OK?

You are alluding to 'situational ethics' annhig which manouche described very well in, "An individual's personal ethics apparently evaporate into thin air when it comes to his god-given right to a vacation - especially when it involves spending big bucks and leaving the country. I have never understood the mentality of "I certainly wouldn't do or allow this in my hometown, but I'll do anything I want to on my vacation, and god help anyone who tries to stop me."

I'm happy to see that Weespxx seems to have grasped the issue and has decided not to rent an apartment. Not all apartment rentals are illegal but unless you are willing to do the due diligence to insure what you rent is legal, the easiest option is to simply avoid them.

That brings us to another point annhig. If people do start avoiding them on sites like Airbnb et al because those sites do not screen illegal rentals out, then perhaps those who own legal rentals and advertise on those sites will start clamouring for the sites to screen out the illegal rentals.

You have a 'holiday home' annhig? Do you rent it out? If so, care to share a link to it? Where is it? Is it a legal rental?

If people like Weespxx read threads like this and decide to avoid apartment rentals as a result, how will that impact you? I would say that YOU as a (presumably) legal rental apartment owner should be banging the drum as loudly as anyone to get illegal rentals screeded off the sites you use.
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Old Dec 13th, 2014, 03:34 PM
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We booked an apartment in Paris for August next year through an agency, so I assume that it is legit.

The September / October booking in Venice is via VRBO, may be legal, maybe not.

I buy stuff on eBay, and I must confess that I do not verify whether the goods are legally owned by the seller. I see transactions on Airbnb and VRBO in a similar light.
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